Rose guru’s favourite climb­ing va­ri­ety

Kapiti Observer - - WHAT’S ON - BAR­BARA LEA TAY­LOR

Look­ing for a good climb­ing rose? It must be twenty years since I planted Gar­de­nia and La­mar­que to climb over my rose turn­nel and they still cover it with blos­soms to­day.

Gar­de­nia is classed as a ram­bler but is eas­ily kept un­der con­trol and the creamy yel­low flow­ers with their pointed buds are a de­light.

La­mar­que was raised in France from seed planted in the win­dow box of an am­a­teur breeder, and it be­came one of the great ram­blers of all time. It be­longs to the lovely Noisette fam­ily and ap­pre­ci­ates a warm spot but other than that it is un­de­mand­ing.

Flow­ers in the old-fash­ioned style are a silky lemon in the cen­tre fad­ing to al­most white. They are borne in gen­er­ous flushes through­out the sea­son and in­clined to be pen­du­lous.

The plant is tough but the flow­ers have a charm­ing old­fash­ioned del­i­cacy about them. It’s a vig­or­ous rose and ideal for a warm per­gola or ve­ran­dah. To grow Noisette roses suc­cess­fully, they must have warmth.

The climber ‘Pierre de Ron­sard’, named af­ter the French poet and in­tro­duced by the fa­mous French nurs­ery of Meil­land in 1987 is one I covet.

This is a mod­ern re­peat­bloom­ing rose in the old- fash­ioned style and to see the well­grown climber in full bloom is to take your breath away. The fat blooms are packed full of petals, soft rose pink on the in­side and the faintest blush pink on the out­side. They open in­for­mally quar­tered and there are a lot of them.

There isn’t much per­fume, but you can’t have ev­ery­thing. The blooms are large and they pick well and last longer in a vase than most roses. I can’t see this rose in a clin­i­cally mod­ern set­ting but if your house has a bit of age, this is the per­fect climber to plant near a door.

ROSE CARE THIS MONTH

Con­tinue dead­head­ing, cut­ting just above the first five-leaved branch­let if you can.

If you haven’t al­ready done so, prune once-flow­er­ing roses. These should be pruned as soon as they have fin­ished flow­er­ing.

Con­tinue to wa­ter deeply twice a week if the weather is dry, prefer­ably from un­der­neath.

Roses will ben­e­fit from spray­ing with liq­uid fer­tiliser – fish, sea­weed, blood and bone are all good. Never spray in sun­light. Early morn­ing or evening is best.

Don’t let the earth around roses be­come com­pacted.

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